Silent Killer

There are four apples in the colorful Mexican bowl, my daughter brought to me as a gift. I choose the brightest apple of all to cut in half and slice for a condiment to my oatmeal cookie. I baked the cookies last week. I never cook, but they have Craisins and tons of Walnuts in them, you can taste the butter and salt, and of course oatmeal, in each bite.

My husband comes in with the only can of Lysol spray we have. And starts spraying every door handle in sight. He bought the lilac scented bottle weeks ago when you could still buy such things. I have been hoarding its use, saving it for special things like my telephone. I want to tell him to stop wasting it, but I can see this is a manly ritual with him. He is protecting us from our silent killer. Our conflicts can be loud and useless because we are both so wounded by our own doing. We have worked for many months to tone them down, to act like “reasonable” people. That is the kind of couple we want to be. Love is patient and kind, not loud. Drama is loud and useless…this is the message—the example we are trying to portray to ourselves.

Our silent killer, the nasty Covid-19 virus has not reached us yet physically. If anything, the impact is good on our relationship. We are more cautious with our reactions. For now, the Lysol can is still half full and there are three more apples in the bowl. Tomorrow I will take the very best one and eat it. Because today is what I have.

There is now a war being waged on dandelions in the driveway with handmade weaponry. No need to stress over this. Both sides are up to the task.

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About the Author

Ruth Mitchell’s career as a travel writer took her many places. Her gigs as a freelancer educated her in the ways of the world. Her positions as an editor for At Home in Arkansas and Arkansas Business taught her to manage lots of little fires. As the author of Arkansas Heritage, a state-adopted elementary history text, she learned to be accurate. As a novelist she's learning her toughest lesson yet, how to engage readers through stories. Her novel White Oak can be purchased online. She is currently working on a new novel that will really wow readers.

Ruth Mitchell
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